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Chapel of the Derision


Within the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Chapel of Derision is included on the hallway that also holds the Chapel of the Division of the Raiment and the Chapel of St. Longinus. The Chapel of Derision is a Greek Orthodox chapel.

Description

Fashioned much like the Chapel of St. Longinus, this Greek Orthodox chapel has a short white wall that divides the chapel from the hallway. The doorway of the wall has two golden doors that open to allow entrance. The steps for the entrance to the chapel are red-tinted marble. The first marble step is a rounded step which leads to the second step which is the floor of the chapel. Four lamps with clear globes hang over the chapel while a single lamp with a red globe hangs directly over the altar.

Two prominent features of the chapel are noticeable when approaching. The first is the altar of the chapel. It is a white marble altar that is simple and unadorned. Four pillars hold up the top table of the altar. Underneath the altar, encased in a glass enclosure is a fragment of a column that is believed to be the place where Jesus sat as they placed the crown of thorns on His head and beat it on with a stick.

The second prominent feature of the Chapel of Derision is the artwork that hangs on the back wall of the chapel. Like the Chapel of St. Longinus, the artwork is comprised of three different paintings that show events that Jesus went through on His way to the cross. The emphasis in this chapel is the way that Jesus was mocked and ridiculed. Jesus took verbal abuse from the Jews, from the people, and from the Romans. So, while bearing the physical abuse of the beating and the cross, He was also mocked by the people and those in authority. The picture on the right shows Jesus during one of His trials where He is being mocked by the system and by those in authority. The accusations against Jesus had to be trumped up and even those lying about Him could not get their stories straight. But, the trials were all a sham because the Jewish authorities had already determined the outcome. They wanted Jesus crucified. The middle picture shows Jesus seated and the crown of thorns being placed on His head. The anger and the mocking of the crowd are very evident in this picture. Then, the final picture on the left is Jesus walking through a crowd that is jeering Him and yelling at Him. As in the Chapel of St. Longinus, the frame is as much a piece of art as the pictures as the impressive frame is exquisite.

Significance

The Chapel of Derision reminds the worshipper of all that Jesus went through by being scorned and rejected by the very people He came to save. Rather than embracing the Messiah, the Jews and the Romans rejected Him.

It is said that anyone who puts an ear to the altar in the Chapel of Derision will hear the sounds of laughter representing those who laughed at Jesus.

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